Encyclopedia > Groucho (dance move)

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Groucho (dance move)

Grouchos are traditional Lindy hop moves that cannot quite be categorized as either basic, side pass, swing out, or aerial dance moves.

In grouchos, the couple moves back and forth between two points, starting and ending in closed position. This move is often repeated several times.

This move is named for Groucho Marx. Frankie Manning met Groucho Marx while working at the Cotton Club and later performed in the Marx Brother's movie A Day at the Races. The name groucho is not universal, and different people call the move by different names.

Table of contents

Forward Groucho

The couple begins in closed position. On counts 1 and 2, they rock step like normal. On counts 3 and 4, while the lead moves the follow in front of the lead to face him, as they triple step. On counts 5 and 6, the lead walks forward and the follow walks backwards. On counts 7 and 8, while the lead closes to the follow, and the follow remains in place, as they triple step. The couple ends in closed position facing where they started, a few steps away.

Spins: The lead and follow can both spin. (Expand)

To Open (Lead Spin Out): On counts 5 and 6 (walk walk), the lead stands still or spins in place, so they move into open.

Reverse Groucho

On counts 1, 2, 3, and 4 they rock step and triple step, just like a swing out from closed. On counts 5 and 6, the lead walk walks backwards and the follow walk walks forwards. On counts 7 and 8, the lead triple steps in place and pulls the follow into closed, who triple steps as she moves.

Escorted Spin (Outer Turn): Reverse groucho with follow outer (usually free, sometimes overhead) spin on counts 5 and 6. They close on count 7 and 8.

Inner Turn:

Apache Turn:

To Open (Lead Open): On counts 5 and 6, the lead walks backward and leaves the follow in place, opening up space. On counts 7 and 8, they may style as they like. This resembles a swingout variation.


Stylings are independent of one's partner.

Counts 5 and 6
Head: Add pecking to match the step step.


Variations require cooperation with one's partner.

Extend: Extend the middle with push-pulls. This is related to the Yo Yo.

See Also

Dance move - Basic - Sugar push - Side pass - Swing out - Circle - Skip up - Groucho - Aerial - Charleston - Jazz

Dance - Swing - Lindy hop - East coast swing - West coast swing

Lead and follow - Connection - Musicality

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